Stage

Christmas Comes Early as Hysterical Race Drama Hits Parramatta

By Claudia Coy March 20, 2018
Black is the New White SOURCE: STC

The combination of farce and familiarity in Black is the New White is set to blow Riverside away!

Bringing a partner home for Christmas is always daunting.

Mix in two fathers with opposing political views, a dash of interracial tension and a handful of deep family secrets and you’re sure to see a little drama unfold.

Set in the luxurious weekender owned by the Gibson family, we are brought into Charlotte Gibson’s world as she tries to navigate an incredibly tense situation. Charlotte’s new partner, Francis, is a struggling musician known for his awkward and incredibly ill-timed jokes. He’s also white – which proves to be the hardest thing for Charlotte’s Indigenous father, Ray, to accept. 

As if the situation doesn’t seem dire enough, Francis invites his parents to join the Gibsons for Christmas Day where they all realise that Francis’s father is Ray’s long-standing political rival.

What ensues is a fast-paced, almost slapstick series of unravelling interactions that compel everyone to air their grievances and reveal a less-than-perfect side of themselves.

Nakkiah Lui’s Black is the New White is an honest, hilarious, charismatic representation of what it means to blend families.

This Paige Rattray directed play is brought to life by an exceptional cast, with some genuinely stand-out performances. 

Charlotte’s sister and brother-in-law (played by Miranda Tapsell and Anthony Taufa) bring a lively and charming energy to the stage. Their ability to play off each other will have you believing this isn’t their first time playing husband and wife, and although both characters have their downfalls, they’re hard not to love. 

Charlotte’s mother, Joan (played by Melodie Reynolds-Diarra) is the voice of reason and brings class, strength and vulnerability to the stage. Reynolds-Diarra has perfect comedic timing and has created a character with a multitude of layers who quietly demands the audience’s attention, no matter where she falls in the scene.

Lui has done an outstanding job of presenting a completely relatable scenario in an entirely new and unique way. 

Her ability to open discussion around race, historical tension and culture is not only captivating, but necessary. 

Black is the New White is entertaining, but moreover makes the audience think about pride, culture and privilege long after they’ve left the theatre. The play encourages the audience to consider their own unique identity and what it means to belong to a particular community.

It’s easy to see why the Sydney Theatre Company chose to bring this engaging play back for a sold out second season, and now to Parramatta to show off the best of what they have to offer.

Black is the New White is going to Riverside Theatres Parramatta for a limited season from 21 - 24 Mar 2018